Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Personal Christian Retreat: An Outline for Spiritual Renewal

Personal Christian Retreat: An Outline for Spiritual Renewal

Now, as you begin your time formally of “retreating,” ask yourself these questions:

Genuine Salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Was there ever a time in my life that I placed all my trust in Jesus Christ alone to save me?
Do I thank God regularly for His great salvation?
Do I live to read and meditate on the Word of God?
Are my personal devotions consistent and meaningful?
Do I practically apply God’s Word to my everyday life?
Am I quick to recognize and agree with God in confession when I have sinned?
Am I quick to admit to others when I am wrong?
Do I rejoice when others are praised and recognized, and my accomplishments go unnoticed by men? (Romans 12:15)
Do I esteem all others better than myself? (Philippians 2:3-4)
Am I consistently obedient to what I know God wants me to do? (James 1:21-25)
Do I consistently obey the human authorities God has placed over my life?
When I confess my sins, do I do so by name?
Do I keep “short sin accounts” with God (confess and forsake as He convicts)?
Am I willing to give up all sin for God?
Do I consistently seek forgiveness from those I wrong or offend?
Is my conscience clear with every man? (Can I honestly say, “There is no one I have wronged or offended in any way and not gone back to them and sought their forgiveness and made it right”)
Does my schedule reveal that God is first in my life?
Does my checkbook reveal that God is first in my life?
Next to my relationship with God, is my relationship with my family my highest priority?
Do I love what God loves and hate what God hates?
Do I value highly the things that please God (e.g., giving, witnessing to lost souls, studying his Word and prayer)?
Are my affections and goals fixed on eternal values?
Am I willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to see God move in my life and church (time, convenience, comfort, reputation, pleasure, ect.)?
Is my life characterized by genuine sacrifice for the cause of Christ?
Am I allowing Jesus to be Lord of every area of my life?
Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to fill (control) my life each day?
Is there consistent evidence of the “fruit of the Sprit” being produced in my life?
Am I as much in love with Jesus as I have ever been?
Does Jesus thrill me with His joy and peace? Do I make him the continual object of my love?
Am I more concerned about what God thinks about my life than about what others think?
Would I pray, read my Bible, give, and serve as much if nobody but God ever noticed?
Am I more concerned about pleasing God than I am about being accepted and appreciated by men?
Do I keep my mind free from books, magazines, movies or other entertainment that could stimulate fantasizing or thoughts that are not morally pure?
Are my conversation and behavior pure and above reproach?
Do I seek to resolve conflicts in relationships as soon as possible?
Am I quick to forgive those who wrong me or hurt me?
Do I stay alert to the conviction and promptings of God’s Spirit?
Am I quick to respond in humility and obedience to the conviction and promptings of God’s Spirit?
Do I have a burden for lost souls?
Do I consistently witness for Christ?
Am I faithful in praying for the needs of others?
Do I pray specifically, fervently and faithfully for revival in my life, my church, our nation, and the world.

2. Scripture

Spend some extended time reading Scripture. Suggestions: Read Psalm 119. Read the entire books of Ephesians, Philippians or 1 Thessalonians. Or read them all! The other day I observed a three-hour retreat, reading Hebrews in its entirety with great encouragement. Spend lengths of time in the Word. Write down what you see: insights, reminders, promises, questions. You might spend the bulk of your time here.

You may want to take time to write out Scripture—a chapter like Romans 8 for instance. Write it out word for word to focus on the truths you read. Or set aside time for Scripture memory. Evangelicals are often better at being activists than at being contemplative. But a personal Christian retreat is a great time to reflect on the passages you read.

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Alvin L. Reid (born 1959) serves as Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he has been since 1995. He is also the founding Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism. Alvin and his wife Michelle have two children: Joshua, a senior at The College at Southeastern, and Hannah, a senior at Wake Forest Rolesville High School. Recently he became more focused at ministry in his local church by being named Young Professionals Director at Richland Creek Community Church. Alvin holds the M.Div and the Ph.D with a major in evangelism from Southwestern Seminary, and the B.A. from Samford University. He has spoken at a variety of conferences in almost every state and continent, and in over 2000 churches, colleges, conferences and events across the United States.